5 reasons why you must make a will

Jasmine Birtles

A will is vital if you're going to protect your loved ones–and yourself. Here's our quick guide.

More than 33 million British people don’t have a will in place and it’s estimated that one out of three people dies without one. Yet if you’re married, have a partner, have children, run a business or own property, a will is a must—for at least five good reasons:

 

1. It will help your family

No one wants their family and loved ones left with nothing in the event of an untimely death. A will gives them one less thing to worry about at a time of intense grief.

 

2. It will save money

Writing a will can save a ton of money on inheritance tax, which stipulates that if your estate is worth more than £325,000 any excess will be taxed at 40%. By sorting out its worth before you die, you can minimise the charge. Talk to your solicitor, as they will know exactly how to help you.

 

3. It will protect your family name

If you own a family business and want to avoid losing it to the wrong person, a will can ensure that the ownership will be passed down to whoever you want. Since we all know this can cause a lot of drama within a family, it’s worth specifying—and, if necessary, splitting—the ownership to avoid any confusion. 

 

4. It’s not as expensive as you think

One reason people put off writing a will is the thought of the expense. In fact, a will is so important that you really shouldn’t let the cost deter you. Even so, if you prepare it enough on your own before meeting the solicitor, you can really cut down on fees—especially if they charge by the hour. You can even do one yourself for a few pounds (pick up a DIY pack at a bookshop or from the internet). Obviously, you’ll be doing it without legal advice, so be careful—but it’s a lot better than nothing.

 

5. You can plan your own funeral costs

Families are often saddled with the responsibility of funeral expenses. This can be very stressful for grieving loved ones, when a large bill is the last thing they want to have to think about. In your will, you can specify where you’d like your funeral to be held, whether you’d like to be buried or cremated and whether you want part of your estate to cover the expenses. Not only will this save your family money, but it will also save them time. They’ll also be put at ease knowing that they’re following your exact wishes.

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